Nestled halfway between St. Tropez and Marseille, Sanary-sur-Mer, France, plays the role of the idyllic Provencal retreat to perfection. The palm-lined harbor holds a flotilla of brightly painted traditional pointus (fishing boats), back-dropped by pastel houses and a Romanesque watchtower. Fishermen still peddle their catch directly from their boats each morning, with the daily market outside the town hall providing the additional necessities for our delicious home-cooked dinner in our apartment on the ship. (The half-dozen durade fish that we bought from a fishermen had just been pulled out of his fishing net! He was gracious and cleaned and filleted the fish for us; they were delicious!)
Walking along the shops fronting the harbor late in the day, we came across a wedding in the Eglese Saint Nazaire; it was entertaining to watch everyone throw rice as the bride and groom exited the church and to see the locals celebrating in town.
We learned that Sanury-sur-Mer is probably the sunniest place in France, with an average of only 61 days of rain, mostly in the winter, which is comparable to Sicily. Sanary-sur-Mer is also known as the birthplace of modern diving, for it was here that Jacques Cousteau, Phillipe Taillez and Frederic Dumas tested and perfected the aqua-lung conceived by Cousteau and Emile Gagnon.